This letter was circulated recently among the Canadian FCA churches, written by Pastor Beverly Fawcett, Director of McMurray Gospel Assembly Church Operations. It is a touching, poignant expression of God’s mercy and help that comes through his people in times of trouble—in this case, the wild fires that swept through Alberta in early May. Pastor Bev’s word is a reminder about the lasting impact our ministries can have when we are faithful.

Pastor Beverly Fawcett

Pastor Beverly Fawcett

Dear FCA Pastors and Churches,

We remember being at the FCA conference [in Grande Prairie] on May 3, 2016 when each of us received phone calls from our loved ones in Fort McMurray saying that they had to evacuate because of the fire (now known as, “The Beast”) that was engulfing our beautiful city. We remember the panic we all felt, not knowing if our family members and our church members would make it out okay.

We asked the question, “Why would God take us all out [of the city just now]?” and one by one we came to the conclusion that it was to pray for the safety of our people. Pastor Glen and Lois joined fifteen of the MGA Staff and Elders that afternoon and we began to pray. We felt at times that we were disrupting the conference, especially knowing of all the precious time and effort that goes into the planning and executing of such an event, however we were assured over and over again by you that you were right there with us.

Well, it’s been over one month now since the fire in Fort McMurray completely destroyed twenty-four hundred plus homes, did damage to hundreds of vehicles, and so forth. Some of us rolled back into our wonderful city exactly one month later to see the damage first hand. It’s always hard to see people’s homes and possessions destroyed.

One of the things I noticed personally, and heard mentioned many times when people first arrived, was how green everything was. In the midst of all the destruction, new life was bursting forth. The greatest miracle in all this, as we all know, was that no one was injured directly in the fires; although it was so sad that two people lost their lives on Highway 881.

Still, God is faithful! Jeremiah says in Lamentations 3:22-23 “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (NIV).

We have already had three Sunday services since we came back. As we gather together each Sunday to worship, encourage and pray for one another, we are finding strength, comfort and renewed faith in God our Father, the One who is able to bring hope in the midst of our confusion and loss at this time.

For the Morinville Church, our hub church, along with all the FCA churches that opened your arms to us, we miss you already. We appreciated your heartfelt care, love and constant encouragement over the last month as we embarked upon your homes and church. We are family and we are so proud of you for all you did and are doing in the lives of others. May the Lord heap blessings upon you for all you have done for us! May His presence fill your churches and do amazing things!

We know so many of you have been praying for us, raising money and so forth, so we can rebuild. We are overwhelmed and so appreciative of all that is being done for us as a church and community. It seems inadequate to just say thank you. Our community has many needs at this time: spiritually, emotionally, and physically and we will strive to meet them. Be assured that your gift will be used to help individuals/families that have suffered loss unless it was specifically designated elsewhere.

So far we have been able to give 40 Spanish Bibles to the Spanish firefighters. On Sunday we gave a used truck to a young adult in our church that came out of a life of drugs and alcohol and because of his past could not get a loan at the bank—oh the tears that were shed! We are partnering with Some Other Solutions to do a free day camp for seventy children ages 6-11 for seven weeks. There will be a lot of emphasis on emotional and mental health, followed by a week of VBS. We have been sponsored by churches in Lloydminster to do a youth camp for up to 30 teens. Next week we are putting on a dinner with gift baskets containing gifts cards, etc. for all forty families from our church that have lost their homes and this coming Friday we are putting a float in the Canada Day Parade to thank our first responders.

Please pray for us as we continue to do the work that God has put before us, that He will give us the strength and passion, as we draw on His grace, to Arise & Build. We trust God to give us favor in this season so we may rebuild a better, stronger and more loving spiritual community. We believe God has positioned us for such a time as this.


Pastor Beverly Fawcett
Director of MGA Church Operations
On behalf of our MGA family

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